When we think of birthday presents, our minds instantly conjure up a beautifully wrapped item, topped up with a shiny bow, and placed into a gift bag. Somewhere in all the fluffy tissue paper, you’ll fish out a paper card, too.
However, reflecting on the recent holiday season and discussions around over-consumption and addiction to fast fashion, I looked at ways to truly give meaningful presents, which brought me to the practice of donating your birthday. Simply request your friends and family to donate what they would have spent on your birthday present to an organisation of your choice, or that they can donate your age in dollars. Alternatively, donate your chosen gifts to help those in need.
Here is a list of Australian organisations that accept birthday donations, recommended by The Modern Muse Magazine. If there’s a cause you’re passionate about, why not get your loved ones involved to make a difference? After all, every dollar counts.
It is important to be grateful for life’s simple gifts. One of them is having a fully able, functioning body. That’s why Team MD, based in New South Wales, is dedicated to bettering the lives of those who are suffering from muscular dystrophy and gives you the chance to do your bit! Donate your gifts to help support children, adults and their families living with this condition. The organisation is committed to ensuring the community is treated with respect and equality while connecting, growing, and having fun.
Australia’s number of cancer patients hits a staggering high every year. Fortunately, there are ways we can make a difference and contribute to research and treatments. After surviving non-Hodgkin lymphoma, David and his wife Alicia decided to give up their 30th birthdays and host an 80’s themed party, asking their guests to donate instead of receiving presents, which resulted in a collective raise of $8,735. Who wouldn’t want to be part of something special like that?
Supporting women around the world to save lives, gain social justice and overcome poverty, CARE Australia strives to better the lives of women in South-East Asian and Pacific communities who are vulnerable to crises like climate change, natural disasters, conflict and other emergencies. Using GoFundraise, you can make a difference by encouraging friends and family to donate to CARE’s cause or purchase a CAREgift, which will include one of many items that the team uses in their lifesaving work. These range from essential medical supplies to food, or even chickens and goats for a family’s livelihood. Every CAREgift comes with a gift card, which you can personalise with a special message for your recipient!
The Barnados team aims to help end child abuse by supporting and aiding those who have experienced this trauma, through foster care and adoption; connection is key to ensuring these children and young people never feel isolated because of their emotional hardships. Either create a birthday fundraiser online or throw a party, with decorations and donation envelopes supplied by Barnados for your guests who prefer donating in cash rather than online. Every person who starts fundraising receives a ‘thank you’ note and a tax-deductible receipt.
Starting a birthday fundraiser is a powerful way to make a difference; after all, the usefulness of every tangible present we receive every year is debatable, so it’s time to start spending money for good and productive causes. Your extra dollar could go towards medical research, putting a plate of food on a child’s table or simply giving them hope that they have a second chance at happiness.
As part of the Birthday Edition of The Modern Muse Magazine, we decided to create a fundraiser for CARE Australia. After all, we are a women’s magazine aiming to support and uplift other women. We appreciate any donation, no matter how big or small as every bit counts. Click here to donate.
To learn more about conscious gifting, head here.